With the first Friday prayers set to resume in the Sultanate today, Muslims were informed that they will not be allowed to perform prayers in the mosque compound.
Mosques, suraus and religious halls have been closed for over two months following the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Taking into account physical and social distancing measures, the number of congregants allowed is between 500 and 600 for a 1,500-capacity mosque. Slot bookings must be made through the BruHealth app. Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar said this at the daily press conference at the Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday, adding that, “Once the mosque has reached its capacity, the gates will be closed and no more congregants will be allowed in.”
As of yesterday, 35,980 Muslims had booked a slot via the BruHealth app.
The MoH reiterated the need for congregants to wear face masks, to bring a large prayer mat, to avoid shaking hands and to leave immediately after the prayers.
In response to whether Brunei Darussalam is paying particular attention to vaccines developed by pharmaceutical companies worldwide, Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said that over 100 companies are carrying out COVID-19 vaccine trials, but only a handful (from China and the Western world) have proceeded to Phase 1 and Phase 2.
“We are still analysing their results as only a handful are being tested on humans. The side effects must be taken into account, not only when administering the vaccine, but also after.
“It will take a while for a new vaccine to be developed. The earliest, although unlikely, will be by the end of this year or early next year. It is not just about developing a vaccine, but also about finding a safe way to deliver it, its long term side effects and so on. The quickest vaccine ever produced took four to five years,” he added.